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EU-Project: Online Study Platform on Mediation

The Institute of the Foundations of Law and the Center for Social Competence managed to reel the EU Erasmus+ project "Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices” in cooperation with universities in Latvia, Italy, Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria. The project aims to build and strengthen an international partnership in the area of mediation as a part of University teaching and to create an online trial platform, involving the “Academia of practitioners” and the students.

This innovative online platform has the aim to enable an extensive digitalization of teaching processes in two ways:

  • Provision of a database as well as materials to study online. By means of videos, mediation sessions are meant to be presented with a focus on the methods and instruments of the mediator.
  • Performance of Mock- mediation sessions and competitions between students in an intercultural surrounding.

Cooperation partners at the University of Graz are the Institute of the Foundations of Law with the Department of Jurisprudence, Sociology of Law, Negotiation and Mediation (Assoz. Prof. Dr. Sascha Ferz, Koordination), the Center for Social Competence (Dr. in Karin Sonnleitner) and the Academy of New Media and Knowledge Transfer (Dr. Martin Kopp). Under the organizational responsibility of DI Robert Link, their contribution, besides joining the work on the web-platform and the development of a best practice manual is mainly focused on the coordination of the video production. What is planned, are four videos with a length on 20-30 minutes each, which describe the methodology of a mediation process (e.g. family mediation). They address teachers and trainers but can also be used for self-study purposes for students and professional mediators. The videos will be published on the YouTube channel of Turiba University (Riga, Latvia) and on the webpages of the partner institutions.

The project will start on the 1st of September 2016 and will last for 32 months. The whole promotional contribution amounts 250.132€, share of the Uni Graz is 31.325€.

Project-Info

Projectmeetings und activities

+++ Final Project Meeting at the University of Riga, Latvia

For the last time, the project partners of the OSMP-Project met in Riga. On the 11th of April 2019 Turiba University hosted the conference “Gains and Benefits of Mediation in Modern World of Dispute Resolution”. At this event, 9 speakers from 8 different countries talked about current developments, new approaches and challenges regarding mediation. As representative of the University of Graz, Verena Gschweitl, spoke about the interplay of mediation and civil justice in Austria. Dana Rone, main person responsible for the development of the centerpiece of the project, presented the study platform in front of the international audience. The conference was broadcasted online via live-stream.

On the 12th of April 2019 at the last project meeting, the OSMP was presented in its final version and positively evaluated by the project partners. This satisfactory track record was followed by discussions about an effective use of the platform also further on as well as future cooperation possibilities of the partners.

+++Mediation Aktiv 8.4.2019

What does Digitalization have to do with Teaching at Universities?

New Ways and Possibilities in Education Programs on the Example of Mediators

On the 8th of April 2019 the Institute of the Foundations of Law and the Centre for Social Competence invited to another edition of the event series “Mediation Aktiv”. This time the focus was digitalization of teaching at universities.

Mag. Dr.  Michael Kopp, head of the institute of the Centre for Digital Teaching and Learning of the University of Graz, opened the event with his presentation on the 5 big errors in reasoning of universities regarding digitalization. Afterwards, Mag.a Sabine Petsch, psychologist and registered mediator, explained which psychological aspects to consider when conducting mediation online and reported about her experience. Moreover, Prof.in Mag.a Dr.in Ulrike Frauenberger-Pfeiler, mediator and coordinator of the optional subject module “Mediation and ADR” at the Law Faculty of the University of Vienna, gave an overview of the digital methods that are already used for mediation trainings.

Finally, the “Online Study Platform on Mediation” was presented, the result of an ERASMUS+ project, in which the University of Graz took part in cooperation with universities form Lithuania, Italy, Latvia, Bulgaria and Czech Republic. The platform not only provides the possibility to conduct mock-mediation sessions and tournaments online, but it also serves as database for materials to study online, e.g. training videos that were produced at the University of Graz. In this regard, MMag.a DDr.in Karin Sonnleitner talked about the challenges that occurred during production and shortly presented the results of a first evaluation of the videos.

A lot of the material of the platform is open to public. All other functions can be used after registering as “teacher” free of charge, starting from the 24th of April 2019.

Link to the platform: http://mediation.turiba.lv/

+++ International Mediation Tournament and Conference in Vilnius

On the 24th and 25th of January 2019 an international mediation tournament took place at the Mykolas Romeris University in Vilnius, Lithuania, as part of the ERASMUS+ project OSMP (Online Study Platform on Mediation, project number: 2016-1-LV01-KA203-022660), in which the University of Graz is involved as a partner. Ten teams, each consisting of three students from all over Europe, competed against each other and proved their communication and negotiation skills in various mock mediations. An international expert jury, comprising professional mediators and mediation trainers, evaluated their performances.

Lisa Kunauer, Christina Rodlauer and Mag.a Johanna Kathan, three lawyers who are currently undergoing the training to become mediators at the Centre for Social Competence, formed the team of the University of Graz that was instructed and supported by Mag.a Verena Gschweitl and Assoz. Prof. Mag. Dr. Sascha Ferz.

At the same time the international conference “Learning and Practicing Mediation”, also part of the ERASMUS+ project, took place at the Mykolas Romeris University in order to exchange experience. As one of five experts, Ferz spoke about the legal challenges mediators in Austria are facing.

+++ Meeting and filming of three tutorial videos, Graz

From the 9th to the 13th of April 2018 the project partners from Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Italy and Czech Republic met in Graz. Teams from Italy & Lithuania, Latvia as well as Bulgaria & Czech Republic made instructional films in the field of family mediation, criminal mediation und commercial mediation. The main focus rested on the mediation process itself and on special methods and tools of the mediator.

In addition to those intense shooting days a workshop took place, in which further steps of the OSPM project like the creation of other materials for the online platform, the planning of Mock- mediation sessions and competitions as well as the organization of the summer school „Negotiation and Mediation“, which takes place in July 2018 in Riga, have been specified. In the summer school an initial trial of the platform will be included in the program for students.

+++ Meeting at the University of Vilnius, Lithuania

From the 13th to the 17th of February 2018 the 4th meeting of the project partners took place. The aim of the meeting, which was organized at the Mykolas Romeris University in Vilnius, was a mediation teacher training. This way the 12 project partners from Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Austria, who are researching and teaching at their home universities in the field of mediation, had the possibility to expand their knowledge and skills, to exchange experiences and to form their own networks. Assoz. Prof. Mag. Dr. Ferz and Mag. Verena Gschweitl presented the results of the evaluation of the first mediation video, which has been shot in the past year at the University of Graz.

+++ Meeting at the University of Genoa, Italy

For the third project meeting the cooperation partners met in Genoa from the 22nd to the 24th of April 2017. The contents and the design of the online learning platform, best practice manuals for teaching as well as the evaluation of the project have been discussed. Assoz. Prof. Mag. Dr. Ferz and DDr.in Karin Sonnleitner, who participated for the University of Graz, presented an instructional video, which has been shot in the summer 2016 and is about a neighbourhood mediation. Additionally, they reported about their experiences from shooting the film.

+++ Production of an instructional film on the subject of neighborhood mediation, Graz

On the 7th of September 2017 the shooting for the first instructional film began. It shows the mediation process and should make viewers aware of the methods and tools used by the mediator.

The team of the University of Graz ― Assoz. Prof. Dr. Sascha Ferz (Institute of the Foundations of Law, Department of Jurisprudence, Sociology of Law, Negotiation and Mediation, and the Center for Social Competence), DDr.in Karin Sonnleitner (Center for Social Competence), Dr. Michael Kopp (Academy for New Media) and DI Robert Link (Deanery of the faculty of law) ― showed a film which was substantively focusing on the area of neighbourhood mediation. Two mediatees, an expert (facility manager) and a mediator are playing four sessions of a mediation case.

Thereby the film, shot in Graz, constitutes a “prototype”. In the following, the cooperation partners from Latvia, Italy, Lithuania, Czech Republic and Bulgaria will produce tutorial videos on the subjects of business mediation, family mediation and criminal mediation.

Projectmeetings und activities

+++ Meeting at the University of Vilnius, Lithuania

The second meeting was held on 24th of March 2017 in Vilnius. The project partners reported on the relevant national roundtable discussions and their results. Assoz Prof. Dr. Sascha Ferz and Dr. Dr. Karin Sonnleitner as representatives of the Karl-Franzens-University Graz presented the exposé and script for the planned video of the Mediation "neighborhood", which will be shot in summer 2017. Participants also discussed the design, preparation and content of the learning platform to be developed.

The next meeting of the project partners will take place on 23th of November 2017 in Genoa. 

+++ Event: Experts mediation talk. Impulse & Innovationen für die Lehre

at the Center for Social Competence on the 12th of December 2016

Program:

  • Presentation of the EU-project "Online Study Platform on Mediation" (OSMP): construction of an online study platform (Assoz. Prof. Dr. Sascha Ferz & Mag.a Dr.in Karin Sonnleitner/Uni Graz)
  • Presentation of the software- instrument „Conflict navigator“ (Mag.a Petra Preining and Mag.a Maria Scheschy-Precht/Advisory center Conflict Management in Upper Austria; winner of the IRIS-Award 2016 in the category „public administration“)

Projectmeetings and activities

+++ Kick off at Turiba University in Riga, Lettland

A first project meeting took place from the 20th to the 22nd of October in Riga. The attendants worked on the four pre-defined part projects: web-platform, methodology materials for teachers, best practice manual, video on presentation of mediation session.

Contact

Head Assoz. Prof. Mag. Dr. Sascha Ferz

Contact

on maternity leave Dr. iur. Dr. phil. Karin Sonnleitner Phone:+43 (0)316 380 - 3657

Contact

Mag. Verena Gschweitl Phone:+43 (0)316 380 - 3657 or 3343

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